For too long, small businesses have been presented with software as if it was THE SOLUTION.
After 17+ years of supporting small businesses, we have seen over and over that software is not the solution itself.
In reality, software is the final execution step of a good solution. It is HOW you execute the solution.
There are a lot of steps before the software piece; like WHY, and WHAT and WHEN.
- The solution starts with an honest Evaluation.
- A real understanding of the current goals, with a clear way to measure success.
- A clear grasp on the current set of processes. Not a “how it should be”, but a “how it really is”.
- An objective assessment of what you already have, not just what needs to be changed.
- This sets the stage for which tools in The Toolkit need to be used.
- What do you really need to get the job done.
- What pieces give you the quickest return, gaining the most momentum.
- What processes map directly to the tools, and what needs to be changed.
- The installation and implementation process tells us where we need to change and Customize the talent, tools and processes.
- Do you need customization of core pieces, or just reports?
- What onsite talent do you have already?
- At what stage does the customization come online?
It’s important to realize the main goal, a sustainable, profitable solution. Common pitfalls are:
- Getting lost in the granularity of the steps. Projects like this easily get lost in “scope creep”.
- The parties involved can have vested interests in seeing change, while some resist any change at all.
- The users at the end of the chain of events (“downstream”) often are the main beneficiaries of the work and efforts “upstream”. Therefore people dont always see the benefits directly and can become frustrated.
All these moving parts are critical to success. As you can clearly see, The Solution Is… much more than a piece of software.
Let’s start with Evaluation.